Christopher Jacobs writes for the Federalist about one of the Biden administration’s recent dubious decisions.

So much for a border crisis. The Biden administration recently finalized regulations that will provide taxpayer-funded benefits to individuals who came into this country lacking authorization, by defining them as “lawfully present.”

The final rule follows regulations proposed last spring. It will have the same major effects as the initial proposal by expanding access to taxpayer health benefits for specified populations, but seems craftily drafted in a way to avoid, or at least minimize, legal challenges.

The prime controversy in both last year’s proposed ruled and this year’s final version is over health coverage for individuals participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Both regulations would revise the definition of “lawfully present” to include DACA participants for purposes of participation in health programs under Obamacare.

One major difference lies in the applicability of the regulatory changes. Whereas last year’s proposed rule changed the definition of “lawfully present” for both the insurance exchanges and Medicaid, the final regulation only applied the change to the exchanges, at least for the moment.

As a practical matter, not finalizing the Medicaid change will have little impact on DACA participants. Unlike most other populations, DACA participants will not need to earn income equal to the poverty level ($15,060 for a single person in 2024) to qualify for exchange subsidies. And because Biden-era enhanced subsidies remain in effect next year, the lowest-income recipients can qualify for subsidies that require no out-of-pocket premium for a benchmark health plan.

In the final rule, the administration stated, “We are not finalizing a ‘lawfully present’ definition for Medicaid … at this time. Rather, we are taking more time to evaluate and carefully consider the comments regarding our proposal with respect to Medicaid…[and] to continue evaluating the potential impact of our proposed definition of ‘lawfully present’ on state Medicaid” agencies.